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    December 30, 1897

    “The Throne of David. ‘The Sure Mercies of David’” The Present Truth, 13, 52.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever, with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever; Thy faithfulness shalt Thou establish in the very heavens. I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn unto David My servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up Thy throne to all generations.” Psalm 89:1-4.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 817.1

    This covenant with David was made after he became king, as we learn from the seventh chapter of 2 Samuel; but it was in effect made long before. When David was yet a shepherd lad, the Lord sent Samuel to anoint him king over Israel. The anointing was accomplished, and David was the chosen king. Yet for a long time there was no visible evidence of it. Instead of donning royal robes and taking his place at the head of the people, he retained his shepherd's frock and staff, and continued at the head of his father's flock.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 817.2

    Then came the time when he was called to court, but only as the servant of the king. But his position was far from enviable. Not only was he a servant, but he was hated, and his life was in constant danger. So this anointed king was obliged to flee for his life, and hide with a few friends in the caves of the mountains, living as best he could. The king with all his army hunted him like a partridge, so that he could not remain long in any place, but must continually flee, yet he did not lose courage. A study of David's confidence in God during these wanderings is a most profitable employment. Let us note two or three instances.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 817.3

    THE SLAUGHTER OF THE PRIESTS

    Once in his flight from the wrath of Saul, who was bent on taking his life, David came to the high priest at Nob, and received food. One of Saul's ruffians, Doeg the Edomite was present, and went and told Saul that Ahimelech the high priest had inquired of the Lord for David, and had given him bread and the sword of Goliath. This was enough for the mad monarch. He at once called to him the high priest, and all the priests that were with him, the entire family of priests, and although they were innocent of the slightest disloyalty, he ordered them, eighty-five in all, to be slaughtered simply because one of them had performed a kindness to David. This shows the bitterness of Saul's rage against David.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 817.4

    “And one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped, and fled after David. And Abiathar showed David that Saul had slain the Lord's priests. And David said unto Abiathar, I knew it that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul; I have occasioned the death of all the persons of thy father's house. Abide thou with me, fear not; for he that seeketh my life seeketh thy life; but with me thou shalt be in safeguard.” 1 Samuel 13:20-23.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 817.5

    Such language would have been vain presumption if it had not been for the promise of God. As it was, it showed sublime confidence. David, an outlaw, who was so hated that not only those who showed him a kindness, but even the relatives of such ones, were ruthlessly slain, said to a refugee, Abide with us, fear not; the same one is seeking the lives of us both; but you are safe with me.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 817.6

    DAVID IN THE WILDERNESS OF ZIPH

    At another time, David in his flight from Saul took refuge in a cave in the wilderness of Ziph. But the Ziphites were treacherous, and, desiring to curry favour with Saul, they went to him, and betrayed David's hiding-place. Not only did they tell Saul where David was, but they added: “Now therefore, O king, come down according to all the desire of thy soul to come down; and our part shall be to deliver him into the king's hand.” 1 Samuel 23:20.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 817.7

    This pleased Saul wonderfully, but as he had often failed to seize David, just when he thought he had him fast, he determined not to be foiled this time. So he sent the Ziphites back: with instructions to take particular note of all David's hiding-places, and come again with information, and then, said he, “I will go with you, and it shall come to pass, if he be in the land, that I will search him out throughout all the thousands of Judah.”PTUK December 30, 1897, page 817.8

    This plan was carried out, and Saul and his men went to the place where David was; “and Saul and his men compassed David and his men round about to take them.” Just then, however, a messenger came to tell Saul that the Philistines had invaded the land, and so he was compelled to turn back, just as David seemed to be in his grasp. Thus the Lord delivered David; but before this deliverance appeared, just when the men of Ziph were leading Saul and his force to his hiding-place, when it seemed as though escape was impossible, David took his harp and sang this song of trust:—PTUK December 30, 1897, page 817.9

    “Save me, O God, by Thy name, and judge me by Thy strength. Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth. For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul; they have not set God before them. Behold, God is mine helper, the Lord is with them that uphold my soul. He shall reward evil unto mine enemies; cut them off in Thy truth. I will freely sacrifice unto Thee; I will praise Thy name, O Lord; for it is good. For He hath delivered me out of all trouble; mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.” Ps. liv. See the title to the psalm.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 818.1

    Note that David did not say, The Lord will deliver me, but, “The Lord hath delivered me.” How was that, since he was in a great danger at the time that the psalm was composed? Why, the Lord had done it by His promise. The promise to David was just the same to him as though he had already seen the deliverance. Yea, he had seen it, since faith makes one see as present reality the things that are yet to come.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 818.2

    DAVID FLEEING FROM ABSALOM

    We pass by many interesting incidents, and come to the time when David had been on the throne a long time, and his own eon had rebelled against him. In the basest manner Absalom had treacherously turned the hearts of the people from David, and now had only one desire, and that was to take his father's life. Taken wholly by surprise by the strong conspiracy that had secretly been formed against him, David was forced to flee from his palace, with but a few attendants, and so seemingly hopeless was his case that a miserable creature dared to curse him to his face, and throw stones at him, declaring that God was now punishing him for his sins as he deserved. While thus an outcast, he sang again, as we read in the third psalm:—PTUK December 30, 1897, page 818.3

    “Lord, how are they increased that trouble me l many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, there is no help for him in God. But Thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and He heard me out of His holy hill. I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people that have set themselves against me round about. Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God; for Thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; Thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongeth unto the Lord; Thy blessing is upon Thy people.”PTUK December 30, 1897, page 818.4

    David was not saved nor did he trust in God because of his own goodness, but because of God's mercy. David was a sinful man, as are all men; but his heart was tender, he acknowledged his sinfulness and God's righteousness, and believed God's promise. It is natural for men to think that God is unrighteous because they are; and the more they know themselves to be unrighteous, the more they think God to be the same. Thus it is: It is most common for one to say, “I am so great a sinner, I dare not believe that God forgives my sins.” But God has declared that His righteousness consists in the forgiveness of sins. 1 John 1:9. Therefore to say or to think that God cannot or will not forgive sins, is to charge Him with being unrighteous. Thus it is that sinners often make God out to be as bad as they are.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 818.5

    Not so with David; sinful as he was, he would insist that God was nevertheless righteous and faithful. God had promised him that he should be king, and not only that, but that his throne should stand for ever. But this promise was through Christ, for the throne of David was the throne of the Lord (1 Chronicles 29:33), and the promise that he should sit on the throne and that it should be established for ever, was the promise of everlasting righteousness which God would freely give him through Christ.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 818.6

    So David's confidence was in God's promise. God had said that he should he king, and no man or men could frustrate God's purpose. It was not for David's sake but for the Lord's own sake, to vindicate His kindness and faithfulness, that God preserved David, and in this David was confident.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 818.7

    THE SAME FULFILLED UNTO US

    “And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that He hath raised up Jesus again.” Acts 13:32, 33.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 818.8

    To every one the call is sent, “Come ye to the waters! And he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”PTUK December 30, 1897, page 818.9

    The promise is, “To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with Me on My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” Revelation 3:21. Yea, He hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood,“ and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father.” Revelation 1:5, 6. “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.” 1 Peter 2:9. And the “Holy Spirit of promise” is the anointing oil that assures us of this.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 818.10

    Therefore the Lord says, “Incline your ear, and come unto Me; hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” Isaiah 55:3. As surely as David was delivered from His enemies, because God had made him a promise, just so surely shall we be delivered, “if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” Therefore let us sing,PTUK December 30, 1897, page 818.11

    “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David, as He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets, which have been since the world began; that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant; the oath which He sware to our father Abraham, that He would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life.” Luke 1:68-75.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 818.12

    “Protestant Loyalty” The Present Truth, 13, 52.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In a statistical article showing the numerical superiority of professed Protestants over Roman Catholics, the Methodist Times says:—PTUK December 30, 1897, page 818.13

    When Protestants have learned to be as loyal to Christ as Romanists are to the Pope, the unnatural victories of Romanism will end for ever.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 818.14

    That is the vital point. The fact that so many people called Protestants are not loyal to Christ, but substitute human ways and customs for the ways of Christ, is what gives Romanism the lead, even though its numbers are seemingly fewer; for a Protestant that is not loyal to Christ, is in all essential particulars a Papist.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 818.15

    “Lessons From the Book of Hebrews. Our Strong Consolation” The Present Truth, 13, 52.

    E. J. Waggoner

    When we began the study of the book of Hebrews, we said that we should take up the first four or five chapters. With this number we close the sixth chapter, and since this is even more than we contemplated doing or promised to do when we began, we shall discontinue the study for a few months, to resume it later. In the meantime other portions of the Bible will be studied, no less interesting and profitable than the book of Hebrews; and as every part of the Bible is a help to the study of every other part, we shall derive the more profit from Hebrews when we proceed with it.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 819.1

    It will be remembered that the portion of the epistle comprising the latter part of the fifth chapter and the first half of the sixth, is a personal appeal. Those to whom it is addressed are charged with being dull and slow to apprehend the deep truths of the Gospel, and are exhorted to go on unto perfection; they are warned of the danger of receiving the grace of God in vain, but are at the same time encouraged by a recognition of the fact that they had already shown love to the Lord in ministering to the saints. Then the exhortation, and the encouragement which we find in our presentPTUK December 30, 1897, page 819.2

    SCRIPTURE LESSON

    “And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end; that ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no greater, He sware by Himself, saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men verily swear by the greater; and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath; that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us; which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made, an high priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedek.” Hebrews 6:11-20.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 819.3

    Some Peculiar Idioms .—The words; “Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee,“ are a literal translation of the Hebrew words of the promise, in Genesis 22:17. But everybody who has given any study to language knows that an idiom, that is, a characteristic expression, in one language, does not make good sense if translated word for word into another language. A word for word translation is not an exact rendering. In the Hebrew language, repetition, whether of a sentence or phrase, or a word, or even of a single letter in a word, indicates emphasis, positiveness. For example, in Genesis 2:16 we have the statement, “Thou mayest freely eat,“ which is as plain as anything can be; but the word for word rendering of the equally plain expression in the Hebrew, is given in the margin, “eating thou shalt eat,“ which in English means nothing. So also in the next verse, where we read, “Thou shalt surely die,“ we have in the margin, “dying thou shalt die.” This latter expression, although meaningless, is the word for word rendering of the Hebrew words conveying the positive assurance, “I will certainly bless thee, and I will surely multiply thee.”PTUK December 30, 1897, page 819.4

    Not Slothful, but Faithful and Patient .—Be not slothful, but followers [or, imitators] of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Faith and patience! Trust and endure. We see that faith means activity, since it is contrasted with slothfulness. Faith works. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God, and “the Word of God is living and active.” The “wicked and slothful servant” is the servant who does not have faith in the Master.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 819.5

    The Promise to Abraham .—The promise to Abraham was that which the Spirit men through the Gospel in Christ (Galatians 3:17), in promises of God; and it Gentiles-all nations-through Jesus Christ. Galatians 3:13, 14. When God made it to Abraham, “He believed in the Lord; and He counted it to him for righteousness.” Genesis 15:6. The promise is therefore that by which righteousness is obtained.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 819.6

    There is probably no other subject in the Bible, concerning which so great a web of speculative nonsense has been spun, as that of the promise to Israel, which is none other than to Abraham. All this confusion would be avoided, if men would but hold to the plain words of the Bible, letting them stand for just what they say.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 819.7

    Note this:—PTUK December 30, 1897, page 820.1

    “For how many soever be the promises of God, in Him [Christ] is the yea; wherefore also through Him is the Amen, unto the glory of God through us.” 2 Corinthians 1:20.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 820.2

    God makes no promise, except in Christ; the promise to Abraham, as already seen, was confirmed in Christ (Galatians 3:17); therefore no promise of God is fulfilled except to Christians. Not that God does not keep faith with all; but that all His promises are such that whoever accepts them thereby becomes a Christian. Any talk about promises to be fulfilled to Jews, as distinct from Christians, comes from ignorance or rejection of the everlasting Gospel, which is the same in every age and to all people.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 820.3

    “He Obtained the Promise.” -In the eleventh chapter of Hebrews it is said of Abraham and all his posterity, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises” (verse 13), and still later, “These all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise.” Verse 39. Yet in Hebrews 6:15, it is said of Abraham, “And so, after he had patiently endured, he received the promise.” How is this?—It is easily reconciled, when we consider that, “in Isaac shall thy seed be called.” Isaac was the child of promise, born of the Spirit. His birth was life from the dead. See Romans 4:19. So when Abraham was tried he offered up Isaac; “and he that received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called; accounting that God was able to raise him up even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.” Hebrews 11:17-19. Christ is the Seed, and He could come only through Isaac's line; yet so firmly did Abraham's faith grasp Christ as the One “who is, and who was, and who is to come” that he calmly proceeded to offer up Isaac, assured that the Christ who was to come from him was already alive from the dead, with power to raise Isaac from the dead so that the promise that He should be born of his line might be fulfilled. Truly Abraham had the promise, even as he who for a surety knows the promise of God that he shall be “heir of the world,“ already has tasted “the power of the world to come.”PTUK December 30, 1897, page 820.4

    “Two Immutable Things.” -What these two immutable things are, by which we have “a strong consolation,“ is plainly stated in the text. They are the promise and the oath of God. God's promise is unchangeable; “the Word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you.” 1 Peter 1:25. The Word needs nothing added to it to strengthen it. Let men remember this, when they presume to uphold God's Word by assertions of their own. Any attempt of man to strengthen the Word of God, is but a reproach to it, a disparagement of it. The Lord receives not the testimony of man, and His cause is never strengthened by quotations from eminent men of the world in favour of the Bible. Abraham did not need anything more than the Word of God, for, let it be noted, the oath was not added for his sake, but for ours. Read Genesis 22:1-18 and James 2:21-24. There we see that the oath was not given until after Abraham's faith in the promises had been shown to be perfect.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 820.5

    “Interposed Himself by an Oath.” -Thus we have it in the margin of verse 17. God swore by Himself. Now when one swears by any object, that object is put up as a forfeit. If the thing sworn is not fulfilled, the object is forfeited, God set Himself apart as a forfeit, or, interposed Himself between those to whom the promise was made and the possibility of failure. The promise is as sure as the life of God. If the promise should fail of fulfilment, in a single particular, then God would cease to exist. So sure is it. But if God should cease to exist, then would the universe be annihilated, for He is its support. Now God has created all things in Jesus Christ, and in Him all things consist (Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:16, 17), so that it is literally true that in Christ we have all things. Romans 8:32. All the promises of God are in Christ, so that the oath of God is in Christ; Christ is set forth as the very being and presence of God. Thus it is that the existence and stability of the whole universe depends on the fulfilment of God's promise to us. And what is the promise?—Righteousness; the forgiveness of sins. “Through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins.” Acts 13:38. Forgiveness of sins comprises cleansing from all unrighteousuess (1 John 1:9) and complete redemption. Ephesians 1:7. That God will do this, that He is faithful to His promise, and that not a sinner can apply in vain to Him for pardon and cleansing, we have the assurance in every blade of grass, in the sun, moon, and stars, that still pursue their courses. The snow and vapours and stormy wind fulfil His Word. Psalm 148:8. “For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever; Thy faithfulness shalt Thou establish in the very heavens.” Ps. lxxxix.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 820.6

    For Our Sakes .—Abraham's faith was counted to him for righteousness. “Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” Romans 4:23-25. So the oath was sworn to Abraham, “that we might have a strong consolation.” You and I have an interest in that oath to Abraham, and therefore in the promise to him. Every soul who comes to God, comes to Him by virtue of that which God promised to Abraham.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 820.7

    Christians Children of Abraham .—“Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” Galatians 3:7-9. The oath of God to Abraham gives strong consolation to those who flee to Christ for refuge. On this is based the hymn beginning,PTUK December 30, 1897, page 820.8

    “How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
    Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word;
    What more can He say than to you He hath said,
    Who unto the Saviour for refuge have fled?”
    PTUK December 30, 1897, page 820.9

    But it is sinners that flee for refuge to Christ, and it is sinners that have a firm foundation for their faith in fleeing to Him for refuge. It was for the benefit of us sinners that the oath was given, for God would not leave the shadow of a chance for a reasonable doubt in the mind of any sinner. To be sure the same consolation remains for those who have been made saints; “for if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” Romans 5:10. Let every soul come to the Lord with this assurance of pardon and acceptance, that God has more at stake than he has, even as God's life is worth more than any man’s. Thus, if God should refuse to hear my prayer, and should not forgive my sins, I should be lost, but God would also be lost, and His loss would be greater than mine. If we believe God, and hold to His Word, our cases are as sure as His. Surely this is a strong consolation.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 820.10

    Christ the Forerunner .—This hope is as an anchor sure and steadfast, which entereth into that which is within the veil, that is in the secret dwelling-place of God, into which place Jesus the Forerunner is entered for us. A forerunner implies others following after. We have already seen that Christ is for ever identified with mankind as Brother. He is one with us. He is the Son of man, “the Man Christ Jesus.” Well, now, there is one Man-the representative Man-already in the presence of God in person. He is already seated “on the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens,“ a King on the Father's throne. But it is one of us, who has gone there; One who is made in all things like unto His brethren. He is indeed “the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29), but we are joint-heirs with Him. Verse 17. Therefore if we believe in Him, if we have “put on Christ” in baptism, and are become Abraham's seed, and children of God through faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26-29) we have the same right to enter heaven and sit upon the throne that He has. He has simply gone before us to show us the way, and to prepare a place for us. John 14:1-3.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 821.1

    A Kingly Priest .—“Made an High Priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedek.” Who was Melchisedek?—He was “king of Salem” and “priest of the Most High God.” Hebrews 7:1. So Christ is both King and Priest. “Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the Man whose name is The BRANCH; and He shall grow up out of His place, and He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a Priest upon His throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” Zechariah 6:12, 13. What is Christ's work as Priest?—“To make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” How much power has He to do this?—All His power as King; all the power of the throne of grace on which He sits. What more could be said to give confidence to a trembling soul? He is King of righteousness, and also King of peace. Let Him reign in your heart, “and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” “Blessed be His glorious name for ever; and let the whole earth be filled with His glory; Amen and Amen.”PTUK December 30, 1897, page 821.2

    “A Head Master on Education” The Present Truth, 13, 52.

    E. J. Waggoner

    There has been of late some wholesome comment on the subject of education. Attention having been called to the fact that boys are crammed with a certain amount of Latin and Greek, which their station in life gives them no opportunity to use, even if they had learned it so that it could be used, a head master writes thus to the Daily Mail:—PTUK December 30, 1897, page 823.1

    I have long felt that, in nine cases out of ten, the teaching of dead languages to middle-class boys is a dead failure. But we headmasters still persist in digging a certain amount of Latin, and less Greek, into the stony surface of the brain which the average middle-class boy possesses, not (I think) because we are convinced that by so doing we shall improve the intelligence of the pupil, or give him a taste for literature, but solely because these things are demanded by the parents and the public in the interests of the “examination.”PTUK December 30, 1897, page 823.2

    The fact is, the whole system of modern “education” is superimposed on a basis of cram, with an examination as the ultimate end to be aimed at. Hence the disastrous results that ensue in so many cases. Education is everywhere being sacrificed to examination.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 823.3

    The fault lies in the system, not in the teachers; but the fact is, that what is commonly called teaching children consists in showing them how to “do” certain puzzles, instead of developing their power to think.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 823.4

    “Items of Interest” The Present Truth, 13, 52.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -France is now sending milk to England.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 830.1

    -Over 1,000 troops left England last week for India.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 830.2

    -Earthquakes were reported from Asia Minor last week.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 830.3

    -In setting free his Greek prisoners of war last week, the Sultan gave ?1 to each private, and ?5 to each non-commissioned officer.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 830.4

    -There is said to be a great increase in the use of snuff, the habit being revived as a fashionable craze.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 830.5

    -The Post Office is starting motor-car mail coaches. One runs from London to Redhill, Surrey.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 830.6

    -A grave symptom of the unrest in Austria is the refusal of troops on several recent occasions to obey orders. The racial rivalries run all through the army.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 830.7

    -A statistician tells us that the Queen reigns over one continent, 100 peninsulas, 500 promontories, 1,000 lakes, 3,000 rivers, and 10,000 islands.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 830.8

    -The Christmas-tree is quite a modern innovation, so far as this country is concerned. It has only been introduced during the present century, and was brought over by the Prince Consort.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 830.9

    -Large numbers of flintlock guns, six feet long, are made in Birmingham at six shillings each, and many of these weapons find a large market in Darkest Africa.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 830.10

    -Fishermen were prosecuted in Wales last week for fishing on Sunday. The charge was dismissed as the act was committed on the high seas, out of the court's jurisdiction.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 830.11

    -The most disastrous drought known for many years is now devastating parts of Cape Colony. Stock is perishing in vast numbers and farmers are being ruined wholesale.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 830.12

    -The general gathering of ships of war about the Chinese coast shows that all the nations directly interested think it well to be ready to take a hand in the division of China the moment the word is given.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 830.13

    -The Russian government is buying immense stores of provisions in America for its forces in Easter Asia. A Chicago packing house recently sold Russian agents 10,000 tons of salt beef. The problem now in the great army campaigns is to feed the men. The coal supply also troubles the great navies. Battleships are useless without coal.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 830.14

    -An ingenious competition has, says a newspaper, been started at Newcastle for the benefit of the locked-out engineers. One of the establishments in the town has offered prizes for bread-making, and as many as 9,000 loaves have been sent in. After the prizes have been adjudged the 10,000 loaves are to be distributed amongst those who are unemployed in consequence of the engineering strike. The loaves have been sent from all parts of the county of Northumberland.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 830.15

    “Back Page” The Present Truth, 13, 52.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 832.1

    These are the words of the Lord Jesus, who speaks with authority in this matter, for He “gave Himself for us,“ and giving Himself, He gave all things. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 832.2

    That there is profit in giving is seen from the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:3: “If I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profiteth me nothing.” There is no blessing to be received if one gives without love; but if love prompts the gift, there is profit to the giver.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 832.3

    Love therefore is the soil out of which all good grows. It was Christ's love that led Him to give Himself for us. Love is the priceless gift; money cannot be compared with it, and all the wealth of the world cannot buy it. Therefore he who gives love, gives everything, the bestowal of his goods must necessarily accompany the gift. And even though he has no goods to bestow, in giving love he bestows infinitely more than the one who gives millions of money without love. The blessing, therefore, of giving is the rich blessing of love.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 832.4

    Seven Aberystwyth fishermen were summoned a few days ago at Aberayrou (Cardiganshire) Petty Sessions, for fishing in Cardigan Bay on Sunday, Nov. 21. The proceedings were taken under an Act passed for “the better observance and keeping holy of the Lord's day.” The case was dismissed on the ground that the offence was not, committed in the parish where the charge was brought.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 832.5

    The Roman Catholics have a fine church in Seoul, the capital of Korea. A Russian representative, urging upon his country the importance of making its influence paramount, suggests among other steps that Russia should build at Seoul “an Orthodox Church at least equal in size and splendour to the church constructed by the Roman Catholic missions.” Thus the Koreans are to be impressed with the superiority of the Orthodox religion.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 832.6

    “Salvation Offered for Sale” The Present Truth, 13, 52.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Salvation Offered for Sale.—We note in the papers that a priest in Canterbury is soliciting money for the support of a Roman Catholic church and school, and offers the following inducement:—PTUK December 30, 1897, page 832.7

    Every donor of at least 1s. 6d. will be presented with Indulgenced Rosary Beads (Dominican Dolour or Five Wounds) that have touched the Sacred Relies of St. Thomas, or a lovely little Crucifix specially blessed for a holy and happy death.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 832.8

    That means that for one shilling and sixpence, the giver will be assured of salvation at last, regardless of what his life has been. There have been men who would gladly have given thousands for such an assurance.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 832.9

    But on the authority of Peter, of whom Roman Catholics boast, nay, on the authority of the Holy Spirit, who spoke by Peter, it is evident that what is offered by this Canterbury priest is a fraud, and that those who give their money expecting to get salvation in return, are cruelly deluded. Peter told a man that he was in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity, because he thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money. Acts 8:20-23.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 832.10

    The gift of God is so expensive that money cannot buy it. “Ye have sold yourselves for naught; and ye shall be redeemed without money.” It is procurable only with “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” Ephesians 3:8. “Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, with silver and gold, from your vain manner of life received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ.” 1 Peter 1:18, 19. To mention money, as an equivalent for such a treasure, is blasphemy. Therefore whoever gets it must receive it as a gift.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 832.11

    “The Dark and the Bright Side” The Present Truth, 13, 52.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In its Christmas day greeting the Daily Mail presented the following graphic statement of the outlook throughout the world:—PTUK December 30, 1897, page 832.12

    “If we look abroad, it is not peace we see. The world is full of strife and misery. War broods over the cast and the west, and rumours of war echo from China almost to Peru. In India and Borneo our stout-hearted brothers are battling; at home a devastating strike makes many a home poorer for the loss of wage. In the West Indies the most loyal are wondering how long England can be bribed by cheap sweets and jam to let her fairest colonies rot and perish-the less loyal think of turning to a kinder foster mother. At the Cape men's minds are anxious and the outlook uncertain. And everywhere there is injustice, cruelty, poverty and wrong to claim our anger, help and pity.”PTUK December 30, 1897, page 832.13

    No one can say that this picture is in the best overdrawn utterance. Nor was it written in any pessimistic spirit, for the editorial teemed with exhortations to look on the brighter side of things, and to make merry. Well, we will look on the brighter side of things, and that is that these troubles are but omens of the coming of the Prince of peace to put an end to war and strife, to deliver the poor from the oppressor, and to establish everlasting justice in the earth. This is the only remedy, and it is sure and certain.PTUK December 30, 1897, page 832.14

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